My rock star pony Syd and I having a moment of easiness. Photo by Terri Hatcher Equine Photography.
According to Webster, the definition of “Easy” is A) causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort; or B) requiring or indicating little effort, thought, or reflection. Well, that’s according to Webster. And WOW! That definition totally does NOT feel “easy” to me! See, that’s the thing. My definition of “easy” and your definition of “easy,” and even Webster’s definition of “easy” are probably entirely different things. For that matter, throw in your instructor’s definition and pretty much anybody on the planet’s definition and well, you get the idea.
The problem is how we “easily” we all throw that word around. “That math test was so ‘easy!'” “She makes cooking that recipe look so ‘easy.'” OR if you’re an eventer, how about “That cross country course is so ‘easy;'” or “That combination in stadium is super ‘easy;'” or even “Your horse is so ‘easy!'” Any or all of those things might be true for you, but maybe they aren’t so “easy” for me or for someone else.
My “easy” factor got tested in a major way recently. I turned 50. I know. I know. It’s just a number … it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look … 50 is the new 30 … blah, blah, blah. For all of my bravado leading up to the big day about age not mattering, when my birthday actually rolled around … um, yeah … it definitely affected me. I began to wonder what things in my life wouldn’t be “easy” anymore. Suddenly bucket lists became more real. Time seemed to be running out. And the idea that every goal I’ve ever wanted to reach had to be accomplished RIGHT NOW all became a very glaring part of my moment to moment reality. The word “harsh” doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt about my newly minted “half a century old” designation.
I’ll admit, most of time, I do not act my age. I would even be willing to bet that most people I come in contact with would never guess how old I actually am. And I’m OK with that! While I’m the designated “mom” at my job (most of the people I work with could quite literally be my children, including all four of my bosses!) and while several of my friends are having grandchildren, I have a six-year-old son who is an only child. So, yeah, I’m a little unusual. And I’m OK with that too! In my mind I am still somewhere around 27 years old in age. In my mind. My body and my driver’s license would tell you otherwise. But I truly believe that it’s my “determined to stay young” attitude that keeps me going, keeps me pushing, keeps me constantly trying to make the difficult things in life (and in eventing) easy-er.
I once made the comment that I was “just competing at Beginner Novice.” A very wise lady who overheard my comment quickly corrected me. She said, “Honey, don’t you ever say just Beginner Novice again. You’re out there running around jumping things on a big ol’ horse that most people would be afraid to even get on. There is no just to it.” You see, she understood the difference between my “easy” and someone else’s “easy.” It’s all about perspective, which can be very EASY to lose.
So the next time you hear a comment about something being “SO EASY!” before beating yourself up, think about all the things YOU do that aren’t easy for someone else. Then give yourself a pat on the back for being able to do them. That should be the easiest thing of all!